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Du Nord Craft Spirits warehouse ‘severely damaged’

A Go Fund Me page has been set up to raise US$50,000 for Du Nord Craft Spirits after its warehouse was “severely damaged” during the Minneapolis protests in the US.

Du Nord Craft Spirits is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, US

The distillery is owned by the former president of the American Craft Spirits Association, Chris Montana.

Protests have erupted in cities across the US in response to the death of African-American George Floyd while in police custody.

Du Nord Craft Spirits’ warehouse is located on the same road as the Third Precinct police station, the “epicentre of the unrest”, the Go Fund Me page explained.

Several fires took hold inside the distillery’s warehouse, which triggered the site’s fire suppression system. This resulted in 26,000 gallons of water being released to put out the fires over a period of four to four-and-a-half hours.

The system prevented the fire from destroying the building, but “the damage was vast”, the Go Fund Me page said.

As such, a Go Fund Me page has been set up to raise US$50,000 to support the repair work of Du Nord Craft Spirits. At the time of writing, the total had already reached US$43.949. To donate to the fundraiser, click here.

‘Filled with grief’

Du Nord Craft Spirits has in turn launched its own Go Fund Me page to support others in the area that have been impacted by the events of the last few days, called the Du Nord Riot Recovery Fund.

“Du Nord is establishing this fund to support black and brown companies affected by the riots,” the Go Fund Me page said. “In the coming days we will add to the leadership team to bring in more business owners and community leaders. We are dedicated to rebuilding Minneapolis in a way that ensures our cultural beacons are restored.”

The Du Nord Riot Recovery Fund set a target of US$40,000, which at the time of writing had already been surpassed with a total of US$40,179.

A statement on the Du Nord Craft Spirits Facebook page said: “We continue to be filled with grief. For George Floyd and for our city. We have been humbled by the outpouring of support and love from fellow distillers, Minnesotans, and others from around the globe. We can confidently say we are supported and will rebuild, but many of our neighbours may not.

“It’s time to get to work. The events sparked by the murder of George Floyd have been beautiful and tragic. The reality is this: our city is devastated and many of the businesses owned by persons of colour were destroyed or damaged in the process.

“At Du Nord, we have historically gone about our business quietly, but this is not a time to be shy about the situation we and so many others face every day. Systemic racism is the ether within which we all live.

“The effects of that system are written on gravestones around our state and nation, but most of us will experience it in forms well short of a knee on our necks or bullets in our bodies. The most effective enduring barriers to true equality have been the restriction of access to electoral and economic power. Du Nord has always encouraged voting and electoral engagement but [has been] less vocal about economic development within marginalised communities.

“We are establishing this fund to focus on the rebuild of black and brown businesses around the Twin Cities affected by the riots. Again, this money is not for us, but to ensure that businesses most in need are able to reopen and grow. We have been inundated with offers to help strengthen our business. We are not strong unless our community is strong, so please join us in supporting the Du Nord Riot Recovery Fund.”

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